My family, musings and life in the turtle pond

Posts tagged ‘LGBTQ issues’

Menu discussion at the cafe

The other day I was eating lunch at a cafe I go to a lot. There were two people at the table next to me discussing the menu. But they weren’t talking about the food. The guy was saying “why do they have to put it in your faces.” The Lady responded  with, “It’s not appropriate to shove you’re lifestyle at people.”n

Right away, my ears perked up. I hear comments like this  more times than I’d ever care to. So I did what I usually do. Asked them exactly what they meant, but having a rebuttal to whatever Anti-LGBT comment I expected. Except that’s not what I got.

“The menu. Look at it.It’s disgusting.”

So I looked. Now I’ve been to this cafe many times,but never really paid attention to it. It has a shirtless man with pants that are cut way to low and showing way too much standing next to a rainbow flag. And His pants line and belly button were eye level with either toddlers or kids in strollers.

She was right. It wasn’t appropriate. At least I don’t think it was. while adults wait for their coffee or stand in line, the kids can stare at this picture. I’m not sure that I would want to explain it to my three year old, and we live in an LGBTQ family.I can only imagine what its like for parents that aren’t.

So the three of us started talking. we decided that it really isn’t appropriate to have any guy on a menu posted that low, in bright colors where kids see it all the time. We also got into a discussion about how the LGBTQ community seems to be at odds with itself. On one hand, the ones of us who are trying to raise families and have the same rights as others are trying to prove we’re just like everyone else. Then there are the guys that seem to go out of their way to prove the stereotypes.

In the end, we decided that it was good that we had a dialogue instead of a shouting match, the way it so easily could have turned out. We all talked to the manager about it too. I told him that I had no problem with Pride, I just didn’t want to be represented by an R rated menu. He listened. Last week, there was a new menu with just the flag. and that menu had been moved to a place over the deli, where Its not in children’s faces. I also have some new people I talk to at the coffee shop.=)

So here’s the dialogue questions: Was the menu appropriate? Would you have said anything? would you have even talked to other people in the shop, who were complaining about the menu?did the manager do the right thing?

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Help, I’ve gone beanless! (origionally feb.2011)

broad beans

Image via Wikipedia

Todays class was…I want to say interesting. But that would be a cop out. It was a good class. we learned a lot about oppression. But there was an activity that left me unsettled.

We played Spill the beans, a game where you take a bean if the question applies to you in a positive way, don’t take any beans or give any back if it doesn’t affect you, or give  a bean back if it is negative. Everyone in the group starts out with 5 beans, so we were all on equal footing. Of course, in our particular group no one would be on equal footing if we were just out in society. we were a mix of just about everything you could possibly get in a single randomly put together group. (granted, I’ve got all the targets wrapped up in one. I’m a female disabled person of color that identifies with the LGBTQ community and lives below the poverty line.). The Spill the Beans questions mostly focused on LGBTQ issues. Things like” I can marry the partner of my choosing, (lost a bean) I don’t have to teach my children to survive (lost a bean) I can live where ever I want without discrimination. (we ALL lost beans)  and I can see people like me on TV (Lost a bean. Yeah right. A Native American on TV?) By round five I was beanless, and there were still 20 questions to go.

I wasn’t embarrassed about going bean- less. Not really anyway. I’m so used to being a target that it doesn’t affect me, really. To me its like…”yeah.I’m in a group that gets oppressed a lot. now lets move on to another topic.” When another group member suggested making bean soup (jokingly) I said that I’d make Turtle soup since I didn’t have any beans left. What really bothered me was that there was an instructor taking that class as well, and she was in my bean group. She saw how fast I went Bean-less and heard the discussion we had afterward. Actually she didn’t say much in the discussion and just got everyone else to talk. (Interesting).

I had a lot to say in the discussion, but it wasn’t anything I had said in my other class. In my other class I hadn’t identified openly. So now she knows a lot of things about my life that apply to her class too, and I’ve never participated in discussion in her class. Its kind of a weird situation. This is someone that I respect, and now she knows that I’m barely surviving, my medical status, that I am fighting an adoption battle, that I don’t like cities,That I miss my partner so much it hurts,my 13 year old rides rodeo, My family looks like a model UN, And that I  really DO have opinions that are relevant to her class. And all I know about her is that she’s really uncomfortable having me in her class with my medical conditions . Which I could actually tell,since  she seems to cringe every time I stand up or stretch. (If she only knew that I’m pregnant,too) What if she wants me to talk more in class? does she think less of me now? It seems weird that she knows so much about me now.! I had been trying to stay invisible in that class. I don’t have the strength  to be a target right now!

and as to targets and Allies, the class was very good about that. And learning about action plans and how to do them was great. My problem is that there are so many things I want to do and no way of doing them. Of course we have to do an action plan for this class too. that means I have to do two, because I’ve already been told that I have to do separate ones for her class and this one, and she WILL check. Oh well, guess I can’t cheat. Not that I was really going to. =)

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